Few things have been left untouched by COVID-19. Mother's Day is about to be the next casualty. There will be no craft projects made alongside classmates at school. No secret shopping trips with Dad. No Mother's Day teas, craft sales, lunches or get-togethers at restaurants. But moms know the best gifts can't be bought at a store or made by a chef. COVID-19 might change Mother's Day, but it can't change moms.
Motherhood is timeless and universal - the love between mothers and children has endured since the beginning, and is impervious to every division of humanity we can conjure up - culture, class, nationality. Moms are moms, no matter what.
Love isn't our only universal truth. We all revel in the awe of new life - of seeing the world anew through young eyes; of marvelling at the shapes in the clouds, or the blueness of the sky; of watching bubbles float and pop. Our children let us rediscover the whole world, all over again.
Unfortunately, worry is also universal for moms. Worry that our kids aren't eating enough vegetables, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep. That we aren't teaching them enough of what they need, to become happy, productive adults.
COVID-19 has brought a whole new set of worries for moms. A whole new set of rules to learn, decisions to make, and skills to master. Our family's and community's safety is in our hands. It's a heavy burden to bear. So let's lighten our load, by shedding one of our heaviest burdens - criticism.
There's a saying going around right now: “We aren't all in the same boat, but we're all in the same storm.” It's an acknowledgement that each of us in experiencing this pandemic in our own way, based on our own circumstances. That we shouldn't be so quick to judge.
That's a good rule of thumb in motherhood, too. All moms are unique, and none are perfect. We're each doing the best we can, with the tools and skills we have available to us, as did our mothers and grandmothers before us. Although we're quick to judge ourselves - and other moms around us - most of us remember our own mothers fondly. We remember time spent and attention paid. We remember warm and comforting moments. Yet, we know she felt just as much worry and self-doubt as every other mom throughout history.
So for all the moms out there in the trenches this Mother's Day, remember that your kids don't need you to be perfect. They don't need you to be burdened with worry and self-doubt. They just need you. So pack away the cleaners for a little while, hang up your cape, and bask in the wonder and joy of just being a mom. And if you still have your mom, remember to give her a call!
Happy Mother's Day!
By Megan Walchuk